I decided to try this blend based on some very enthusiastic recommendations from the Reddit r/PipeTobacco forum. It’s a blend of Oriental or Turkish, Virginias, and some Latakia. I can’t help but to compare it to Consummate Gentleman, an Ashton English blend. EMP definitely has less Latakia; it’s not as smoky either in the tin, in the pipe, or in the room after you smoke it. So it’s not quite as in-your-face. Think Johnny Walker Black to Consummate Gentleman’s Aardbeg or something similar.
I find that it burns well, if I’m careful and diligent to keep it tamped (but not too tight). The further down in the bowl I get, the more conscious I have to be about not puffing too fast. This blend will stand up and slap me with a harsh note if it gets too hot, but it rewards taking it easy and smoking it slowly. Along with that comes a slow smoke; I spent probably 45 minutes and, when I thought I was done with the bowl, found there was a pretty large dottle of unsmoked tobacco left. I could have gone a full hour or more and still not hit the end of that bowl, and that was with a pretty conservative loading of the pipe. A guy could probably get a couple hours of smoking out of a full pipe. That would, at this point, be way too much nicotine for me. I’ll have to remember, though, that I could let the pipe go out after my morning coffee, tap out the ash, and get a nice lunchtime smoke out of it as well.
I still like my aromatics, but I like EMP more and more every time I smoke it. Pipes & Tobacco sells a “Match” blend that I’m going to try out and see how it compares, since it costs about a quarter as much per ounce.